Jump to content
ash

what are bio balls for discussion

Recommended Posts

ok there is allways a thread on a sump somewhere and the good ole bioball comes up in discussion as to whether they should be submerged or not.

This thread is here to discuss what they are used for and where they should be used...

Ill go first with my understanding but would invite anyone to correct me if I am wrong....

ok, from my understanding of the whole process, and Ill keep it as basic as possible, Yes you can submerge them, and they will house anearobic bacteria, but they are not as efficient as other media such as matrix, scoria or coral rubble etc...

Preferably, when bioballs are used in a wet dry sump, in the dry trickle section, they are there to house aerobic bacteria, and many would be led to beleive that this bacteria is de-nitrifying? yes?... well no, since denitrifying bacteria will only thrive in low to no dissolved oxygen and low water flow environments.....

how can they survive when the top section of the sump where the bioballs are is saturated with dissolved oxygen from falling water from the tank, well, they cant really can they?

so in saying that, youd think the common trickle filter sump setup would be a waist of time then, yes?.... NO!

the nitrate is being removed BEFORE it is even formed....huh...how you say?

well, ammonia is a gas, but will dissolve when in water but it prefers to be a gas.

A good amount of ammonia is removed by the falling action as the water tumbles over the bioballs.

Removing ammonia before it goes through the nitrogen cycle means that less will remain to be turned into nitrate by biological filtration, leading to reduced levels of nitrate in the tank!

How ever much or little nitrate is 'removed' would be hard to measure, but any nitrate removed, especially from a non planted tank, is beneficial IMO

if the above were wrong the bio balls will still house beneficial bacteria, and will greatly oxygenate the water so its win win

Thats my understanding from what I have read and digested over the years ....

Edited by ash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ammonia is a gas but once mixed into a soluble solution like water in the aquarium it needs to reach a certain temp for it to release from the water as a gas which I think is around boiling point.

The other ammonia released into the water is ammonium ions which are excreted by the fish.

Both forms of ammonia need to be passed through the nitrogen cycle for it to be removed from the water.

Sharks and other water animals like Platypus convert the ammonium to Urea before excretion and this is far less toxic than what fish excrete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
try formatting your post.

use paragraphs.

its much easier to read when formatted properly and not just a big jumble of words.

who cares.

boo hoo

next thing we'll know you'll have to a bachelors degree in english to post on here because of all the sooking that goes on.

its a fish forum not a grammar forum.

thanks to ash and Aussie for the info tho..

Cav

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
try formatting your post.

use paragraphs.

its much easier to read when formatted properly and not just a big jumble of words.

go and join qld english masters forum matey

most people now days dont even need vowels to understand english

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

heat is one way to remove unwanted gases and organic nasties but with the application of heat the amount of dissolved oxygen is well reduced, which is the opposite of how the 'air stripping' of ammonia supossedly works.

It seems you can reduce the concentrations of gases like ammonia via air stripping, but the concentration of ammonia has to be very high to see any significant decrease...

It would be noticeable in wastewater treatment plants where there are exceptionally high amounts of ammonia present, but when compared to an aquarium where anything more than 0ppm is somewhat stressfull to fish, would render the whole air stripping process pretty much pointless to the appliction being used in aquariums.

There seems to be alot of conflicting information of how it does work and how it will not work....who do you believe????

Theres alot of interest in the 'Bakki Showers' that the UK and Asian koi pond farmers seem to swear by. They claim ammonia removal via the air stripping of the ammonia via the large ammount of water showering through the trays....as well as the super duper 'bacteria house' filter media... its said this media is so porous that there are near 'dead zones' within the media which can house de-nitrifying bacteria to remove the nitrates.... so are these bakki showers just glorified trickle filters??

theres some interesting reading for and against out there....

'Air stripping may be used to reduce concentrations of volatile organics, such as chloroform, as well as dissolved gases, such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia'

'Air stripping to remove ammonia (NH3) from water is possible. But

the high solubility of ammonia in water means that a very high

air/water ratio must be used'

'Bakki Shower & Bacteria House Filter Media'

and then you come across this...

'Ammonia is highly soluble and cannot be air stripped. Ozone will oxidize nitrite but will

not affect unionized ammonia. As a result, biofiltration is commonly used in intensive

aquaculture systems to remove ammonia'

confused yet? :|

ps thanks for the valuable input simon, its duly noted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
who cares.

boo hoo

next thing we'll know you'll have to a bachelors degree in english to post on here because of all the sooking that goes on.

its a fish forum not a grammar forum.

thanks to ash and Aussie for the info tho..

Cav

hear hear to that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ash,

you have spent a lot of time on this and I do appreciate the information - very helpful indeed.

As a new aquarist, I am listening alot to what people have to say and how their filtration works. There are heaps of differing opinions about filtration - not just the operation of bio balls but there are differing views on the balls just by themselves

However, I must say that if bio balls are used in a cannister filter,they will all 100% be completely submerged. Now I'm sure that the designers of the Cannister filtration systems must have also done their homework and concluded that fully submerged bio balls do work.

As for my experience - I replaced my carbon for bio balls in my cannister and I have found a vast improvement in the clarity of my tank, so that being said, when i plug my sump in, they too will be completely submerged due to the success i personally found so far. Sump v cannister = no real difference really except i have found that building my sump is working out much cheaper and I can easily connect another tank into my plumbing whereas I would effectively need a separate cannister for my 2nd tank when I get it up and running = extra cost all round = more power, 2nd cannister cost etc etc.

Again thank you for your info ash it is very helpful indeed and does help to answer many of the questions running around my head - the headache is easing somewhat lol

now can i give you some punctuation to satisfy a few of the others ,.!? there and use them as you see fit lmao

also a clip on punctuation you may enjoy

YouTube - Victor Borge Phonetic Pronunciation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

correct me if im wrong,

if you have a thick bed of substrate where there are deadzones and there is low to no water movement thus meaning low oxygen content, de-nitrifying bacteria would flourish, therefore providing an all natural breakdown process for nitrates into nitrogen gas, that bubble up and rise escaping from the tank? yes?

so from this youd think an undergravel filter would be a highly benefical addition to any system......i cant see any disadvantages of having an UG filter working alongside other forms of filteration seeing as the UG filter is the only type of filter that I know of that provides the correct environment for de-nitrifying bacteria....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have bio balls, both above and below water line. I am keeping a close eye on nitrate and nitrite levels as it is only a new set up (6 weeks old).

From what i have been reading, the best bacteria for a sump live in low flow areas. Oxygen is needed, because the little buggers use it will transforming ammonia and nitrite into nitrate.

So, a bio ball tower that flows into a baffle with submerged matrix, scoria, coarse sponge is the way to go, apparently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i'll be damned, here i was thinking bio balls were something thay made for the bionic man when the hormone treatment failed lol.

and have a guess where the blue ones go

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ash,

However, I must say that if bio balls are used in a cannister filter,they will all 100% be completely submerged. Now I'm sure that the designers of the Cannister filtration systems must have also done their homework and concluded that fully submerged bio balls do work.

they will work submerged, just as pieces of gutter gaurd or even blocks of lego or marbles will.

But its all about the surface area.

If you have a highly pourous media like noodles or matrix or even coral chunks, you will have much more surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow on compared to the bio balls meaning you get much better biological filteration for the same amount of area used, and the capacity to have much more beneficial bacteria meaning you can have more fish!

that make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol fish cant spell think about that ! sthit puk . click

generally i put my bio balls and ceramoc noodls in the bin .click

jap matt works a treat for me .click

and yes the undergravel filter is the best allrounder imo but it's just to simple for 2011 .click

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol woodie.click

heres one for you, oldy but a goody was doing the rounds in an email a while back

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

:egrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very good and its not quite correct because 3 letter words can be completely jumbled but yes I read the whole thing and if memory serves me, I too read the cambridge Uni write up about it some years ago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...